SCENE 10: KARBALA, 10 Muharram (Martydrom of Hazrat Abdullah)


Click here to listen to the sound clip at the beginning of Scene 10


(Note: This scene continues from the prior scene with no scene transition)


Imam Sajjad: (on the ground ill) I do. I will fight. Bring me my sword.


Imam Husain: My son, fighting is not for you, not today.


Zainab: The children are still thirsty. They will not last much longer. Especially -- especially, your son.


Imam Husain: Other than you, my only remaining son.


(They look at Rabab who is holding an infant wrapped in her arms)


Rabab: Their soldiers have to have their own children too. Maybe if you take him out there, someone will give him water.


Imam Husain: We have no other choice. We have to try. Let me have him. (Rabab hands the baby over)


Rabab: Bring him back soon.


Imam Husain: Insha'allah.


(Zainab goes to calm Rabab, and Imam Husain approaches army and holds baby out)

Imam Husain: Forces of Ibn Sa'd! You came for me, although I do not want to fight. You slaughtered my followers and my family, and I am ready to die too. But look at this child. He's done nothing. He's been thirsty for three days -- three days in this desert. He can't cry, he can't even breathe. Look at him. He's only an infant. Could you let your children suffer like this, when there's a river, a few feet away? You will gain nothing from killing a child. There is no honor in it. Take me -- you came for me -- but spare the innocent.


Ibn Sa'd: Good ploy, Husain! Do you think we will give you water so you can strengthen your own side?


Shimr: Even if we had an ocean of water, we would never give you a drop!


Husain: By Allah, I will not drink one drop. Yes, I have been thirsty for three days too, and yes, I am fighting, but I will honor my oath. If you are determined to slay me thirsty, then do it. But my son is not fighting. He cannot even walk. Here he is. I will put him down. (sets the baby on the ground) Any one of you can help him. Give him a little water, just enough to ease his pain. That's all I ask.


Sympathetic Soldier: He's only a child. A little water wouldn't hurt anything. We'll still win.


Hurr's Soldier: And he gave us water too, when we were thirsty.


Ibn Sa'd: (quietly, to Shimr) This has to stop. (loudly, to other side) Husain, you know no bounds! (To soldiers) Give me our best archer.


Shimr: It's Harmala. (Shimr drags Harmala over)


Ibn Sa'd: You're sure.


Shimr: Without doubt, Harmala can hit anything.


Imam Husain: Watch me, I'm backing up. (backs away from child) I swear, the water is only for him. If you come forward, I will not attack.


Ibn Sa'd: (to Harmala) Do it for the khalifah, and the khalifah will reward you. Fail, and I will punish you. Do it for Yazid. One shot. Directly at him.


Harmala: At him? (pointing to Imam Husain)


Ibn Sa'd: Not him. The kid.


Harmala: (voice shaking slightly) Yes, Commander. (Points bow and fires. Misses way off.)


Click here to listen to the arrow sound


(Bad Soldier gasps; Imam Husain reaches down to grab his son and tries to protect him)


Imam Husain: Ibn Sa'd, can you sink any lower!


Ibn Sa'd: (to Shimr) I thought you said he was our best archer.


Shimr: He is. Give him another chance. (To Harmala) Get it right this time.


Harmala: Yes sir. (Points bow and fires. Way off the other direction)


Imam Husain: (lifting baby) Ibn Sa'd, what are you doing?


Ibn Sa'd: (to Shimr) He hits that target or else I'm sending you both out there, understood!


Shimr: Think of the riches, Harmala. You'll be wealthy beyond your wildest dreams. Think of it. Just one shot.


Harmala: One shot. Got it. (points bow and fires)


(a wail of an infant - offstage, cut off)


Click here to listen to the arrow sound when the baby gets hit


Imam Husain: O my God, witness that they have slain an innocent child! Bear witness, Allah, that this -- this -- this is the blood of my son. They could not spare him! (Throws blood up and raises child to the sky) Lord, be a witness for us against these people! (falls to knees) Accept him from us as our sacrifice! (Wraps him in his robe and returns) Zainab, Zainab, Rabab, Leila, Um Kalthoum, Zainab, Zainab--

Rabab: (panicking) Where is my son? What happened?


(Imam Husain looks away)


Rabab: Give me our son, Husain, give me our son.


(Imam Husain is till looking away and hands over child)

Rabab: He's dead! My baby! (kissing dead child) I carried you and I raised you and I fed you, and this is what they have done to you! God curse them! (yells)


Zainab: How much farther can these people go.


Rabab: Curse them all! Husain, Husain, bury him, before they come for his body.


Imam Husain: I will bury him now. (Reaches to ground, digs sand, places child in, puts sand on top) God, witness that I have fulfilled Your command. I have sacrificed those whom I loved most. Bear witness to what has happened here today.


Zainab: Brother... brother, I hate to ask at a time like this, but... but what will happen to us?


Imam Husain: I will not be here much longer to protect you all, Zainab. You will have to stand on your own. (pause) Bring me a piece of clothing that nobody wants. When they kill me, they will strip everything from me, and I do not want to lie naked.


Zainab: (giving him a cloth) Here you go.


Imam Husain: (with difficulty) Return to the tents, Zaynab, for the time has come for me to fight.


Sukayna: Don't leave us too.


Imam Husain: Be patient.


Leila: After all that has happened?


Imam Husain: Yes, be patient. We are still standing in the way Allah. Have faith, for I will soon leave you all in the protection of Allah, fa 'alaa allahi fal yatawakkal al-mutawakkilun.


(End scene - lights out)


Narrator: We will continue after a brief ten-minute break.


Click here to listen to the sound clip at the end of Scene 10


(Lights on)